Turkey calls on Kurdish rebels to withdraw

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Associated Press

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 9 at 11:33 AM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's prime minister has called on Kurdish rebels to withdraw forces from Turkish territory and disarm.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's appeal Wednesday comes as Turkish officials are holding talks with jailed rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan with the goal of convincing the group to disarm and end a conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984.

Officials have not disclosed details on the talks, but news reports have claimed that the terms of a deal being negotiated include the declaration of a truce, followed by the rebels' withdrawal from Turkey and the group's disarmament.

Erdogan's comments at a news conference during a visit to Niger were broadcast live on Turkish television stations.

The rebels are fighting for self-rule for Kurds in southeast Turkey.

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